June 2, 2020

LightCounting Releases its 1Q20 Wireless Infrastructure Market Size, Share, and Forecast.

Every year starts with a weak first quarter that follows with a strong fourth quarter, and 1Q20 was no different - although it was somewhat weaker due to COVID-19. As a result, we found that the 1Q20 wireless infrastructure market size reached $8.4B, which is up 2% over 1Q19 and down 8% sequentially. 5G in Japan and North America sustained activity in 4G and 5G in EMEA drove the moderate growth. Had China and South Korea not been hit by COVID-19, the growth would have been greater. In core networks, lumpiness continued, and vEPC was the bright spot, particularly for Huawei and ZTE that dethroned leading core vendor Cisco.

Although Huawei keeps its #1 market share spot, Ericsson continued to gain a few share points and narrowed the gap with Huawei for 5G NR sales. Nokia stayed #3 globally but was passed by Samsung in 5G NR sales shares.

Our 2020 outlook is flat YoY at $34.9B resulting from a split between growth markets like the Asia Pacific and North America, where the impact of COVID-19 on 5G rollouts is moderate so far, and declining markets in EMEA and CALA that are seriously affected by the pandemic and won't be able to resume their 4G and 5G activity until 2021. Propelled by China’s massive 5G rollout, the Asia Pacific will remain in the driver's seat this year and throughout our forecast period.

Shown in Figure E-1, LightCounting’s Wireless Infrastructure market forecast for sales of wireless network nodes is somewhat flat. Our service-provider 20-year wireless infrastructure footprint pattern analysis points to a 2019-2025 CAGR of -1% characterized by slight oscillations around its standard level of $35B attained during the 2010-2015 LTE era, which reflects the differences in regional and country agendas, including COVID-19 impacts. It does not come as a surprise that 5G will be the name of the game until the next-generation “6G” emerges in 2030. Figure E-1: Global sales of wireless infrastructure network nodes 2016-2025 by generation


Each quarter, this report analyzes the wireless infrastructure market worldwide and covers 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G radio access networks (RAN) and core network nodes. It presents historical data from 2016 to 2019, quarterly market size and vendor market shares, and a detailed market forecast through 2025 for 2G/3G/4G/5G RAN, including vRAN, and core networks (e.g., EPC, vEPC, and 5GNC), in over 10 product categories for each region (e.g., North America, Europe). The historical data accounts for sales of more than 30 wireless infrastructure vendors, including a few vendors that shared confidential sales data with LightCounting. The market forecast is based on a model correlating wireless infrastructure vendor sales with 20 years of service provider network rollout pattern analysis, and upgrades and expansion plans.


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